Archive for October 10th, 2009

Hope & Dismay.

10 October 2009

The Audacity of Nobel peace prize.

It was only yesterday evening that I picked off from my bookshelf ‘The Audacity of Hope’ published in 2006 for reading. Most know Obama speaks well. He writes well too. I managed to finish 2 chapters on the trot. Coincidentally today morning I saw the headline in the paper announcing that Oslo has bestowed the 2009 peace prize on the US president, only the third time it has done so on incumbent US presidents. Usually prizes are given for demonstrated achievements, but glaringly it is not the case presently since Obama is only in his 9th month of presidency. Even though he has aroused lots of hope with his pronouncements, there are no tangible results yet. So this could be described as a prize for hope, which puts a positive burden of expectations on Obama’s shoulders to deliver. It may also be an effect of the day after hangover from the excessive military binge & the greed of Wall Street let loose by Bush presidency. The Bush-made confrontationist & belligerent world order based on what Naomi Klein describes as disaster capitalism so frightened everybody else that anybody who stepped in his place with a moderate stance would appear a messiah. No doubt the mess that Obama is expected to clear, though not of his own making, is daunting. May be the Nobel Prize committee expects this early award to spur him on to do just that.

This is what Obama says in his book : “We can make claims on their (values) behalf, so long as we understand that our values must be tested against fact & experience, so long as we recall that they demand deeds and not just words (P69)“. This is the standard by which he will be judged whether his was a deserving case.

The Repugnant Murder.

Inspector Fransis Induwar was first abducted by Maoists on 30th September and a few days later murdered & beheaded. This is a most despicable act & needs to be condemned in the strongest terms. Whatever mitigating factors are brought to the fore or however loose standards are used to judge, it remains a most repugnant murder. Maoists claim to work for protecting the interests of poor & tribals in the most wretched parts of India. If they think that they would be serving the cause of their avowed constituency by indulging in such brutal, senseless acts, then they are sadly mistaken. They only have to look at what happened to LTTE in Sri Lanka. The plight of the Lankan Tamils truly needed for someone to take up their cause. LTTE did that effectively initially. But later it indulged in bitter internecine war with armed Tamil groups & annihilated them completely, and had been engaged in wanton terrorist attacks against the Sinhala majority & the Sri Lankan government. They had a good opportunity to reach negotiated settlement with the Lankan government where Norway was acting as an interlocutor. They spurned that opportunity drunk on their armed might & blinded by their ideology. It led to their complete rout & destruction. Where has that left the Tamils for whose betterment they avowedly worked? It is not that Indian state lacks the might to crush the Maoists movement militarily. But what has kept it so far from doing so is the pluralistic democracy that we have where the plight of poor & tribals has had to be recognized & catered to even if willy-nilly. Such dastardly acts will only lead Maoists from becoming a feared but hated outfit like Al Qaeda. What will follow is strident support for the government decision to engage them militarily & smash their network. Then the grain (tribals) will burn with the chaff (Maoists) leaving the tribals worse off than they were.

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